FILM: Brixton Blog’s Thursday round-up

The Imposter

By Ashley Clark

There’s so much going on at south London’s best cinema this week that I simply don’t have the time or capacity to waste unnecessary verbiage (which is surely in itself a tautology) on a long-winded, distended, extraneous introductory slab of contextual copy, in which I provide a precis of what’s to come. OK?

After last week’s fairly quiet time on the new release front, it’s all systems go at the Ritzy from Friday, with more new films than you could shake a stick at (unless you’re exceptionally proficient in the art of shaking sticks at things).

The most intriguing new pic at the Ritzy this week is Picturehouse’s own release The Imposter, a thought-provoking documentary based on the bizarre true story of a Frenchman who convinced a grieving Texan family that he was their 16-year-old son who’d been missing for 3 years. Using a raft of cinematic sleight-of-hand-tricks, and boasting some slick visuals, The Imposter is a murky, disturbing work destined to inspire pub chats that go on long into the night.

Also out (from Wednesday) is the new remake of Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi classic Total Recall, with sex tape superstar Colin Farrell taking on the role once filled stiffly by big Arnie Schwarzenegger. It has tanked in the States (critically and commercially), but something tells me that you might well enjoy it if you spend long enough in the pub beforehand. Disappointingly it’s been rated 12A – the Arnie version used every inch of its 18 rating. Is Hollywood going soft for a quick buck? Is anyone else getting an unintentionally double-entendre packed vibe from this paragraph?

Man on Wire director James Marsh returns with thriller Shadow Dancer, starring Andrea Riseborough as Colette McVeigh, a young mother and active IRA agent who is snared by MI5 and persuaded to turn informant. With higher stakes than a 10th floor butcher’s shop, Colette struggles to preserve her cover and protect her young son. The handsome Clive Owen is on hand to provide fine support in this gripping, occasionally devastating thriller.

Other new releases include Nigerian drama Tango With Me, which may or may not be about a man who carries a can of the orange soft drink everywhere he goes, French mood piece The Bird, which is apparently quite sad, and finally Gallic kiddies film Le Petit Nicolas about, I suspect, a small person called Nicolas. I could be wrong.

Films continuing their runs include Alison Klayman’s excellent – if uncritical – portrait of the controversial Chinese artist in Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry; hipster love roundabout Take This Waltz; decent Pixar romp Brave; running-and-shouting fest The Bourne Legacy; Malik Bedjelloul’s superb, surprising music doc, Searching for Sugarman; puerile, pseudo-bestial bromance Ted, the debut feature film from Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane; and – still – Christopher Nolan’s portentous Batman trilogy closer The Dark Knight Rises. Seriously, how much choice is that?

The Ritzy’s rep programme is as eclectic as ever, too. In tribute to the director Tony Scott, who tragically passed away last week, there are late night screenings of his slick, entertaining 1983 horror The Hunger, starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve as a pair of svelte bloodsuckers, as well as rare showings of Dario Argento’s classic giallo, The Bird With The Crystal Plumage. There’s also a special Discover Tuesdays screening of Luis Bunuel’s classic 1972 satire The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, in which a group of middle class chancers constantly find their plans to have dinner interrupted. KFC, guys! It’s just next door. Takes no time at all.

All films showing at the Ritzy Cinema, Brixton Oval. Book tickets here.

Ashley Clark runs the film blog Permanent Plastic Helmet. You can follow it on Twitter @PPlasticHelmet and/or him @_ash_clark.